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Thread: Fridge dormancy

  1. #1

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    Hi,

    I live in a subtropical zone of South Africa, with similar warm temperatures throughout summer and winter. I'll be forced to put my VFTs and Sarrs through dormancy using the refrigerator.

    My question is: How safe is this type of dormancy? Has anyone ever had the experience whereby their plants have not woken up after this type of dormancy?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    I also live in the subtropics, and Iíve been gathering information about the needs of CPs for cold weather and/or short photoperiods to initiate dormancy. From what I gather, VTSs have to be put in the refrigerator for dormancy in a subtropical climate. Otherwise they get weaker in successive years and eventually die. However, many Sarrs donít need it.

    Iíve kept Sarrs for a couple of years now without putting them in the refrigerator (mainly because Iím lazy). They stop growing during the winter, but in the spring they start growing again. Mine are coming out of dormancy now, and they are as tall as they were when I originally got them. A TerraForums member from Florida says he lets the growing medium get drier during the winter, and somehow that seems to help. I think Iíll try that next winter.

    Anyhow, those who say Sarrs need cold weather and/or short photoperiods during winter may be well intentioned, but are misinformed. Maybe some expert said it way back when, and since then itís been repeated so often that itís now ďcommon knowledge,Ē although based on erroneous assumptions rather than practical experience. After all, nobody is 100 percent right all the time

    Most Sarrs are native to the southeastern part of the United States, where winters are relatively mild. So itís not a big leap to survive in a subtropical climate. (The species that may have difficulty is S. purpurea because it is native to the northern U.S.) Youíre probably aware of other plants native to temperate climates that can grow outdoors all year in the subtropics. They may not grow as large, but they can grow and even thrive.

    Unfortunately, I believe that this misinformation about Sarrs needing cold and/or short photoperiods for dormancy has discouraged many people from even trying to grow them in the subtropics because they didnít want the extra bother. Too bad.

  3. #3

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    The first 2 years I had problems with refrig. dormancy. Then I figured out that after dormancy I was giving the vfts to much water after they came out. Causing the vfts to rot.
    \"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.\"
    -- Oscar Wilde

    http://www.nasarracenia.org/

  4. #4
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Tropics @ April 11 2005,11:26)]I also live in the subtropics, and Iíve been gathering information about the needs of CPs for cold weather and/or short photoperiods to initiate dormancy. From what I gather, VTSs have to be put in the refrigerator for dormancy in a subtropical climate. Otherwise they get weaker in successive years and eventually die. However, many Sarrs donít need it.

    Iíve kept Sarrs for a couple of years now without putting them in the refrigerator (mainly because Iím lazy). They stop growing during the winter, but in the spring they start growing again. Mine are coming out of dormancy now, and they are as tall as they were when I originally got them. A TerraForums member from Florida says he lets the growing medium get drier during the winter, and somehow that seems to help. I think Iíll try that next winter.

    Anyhow, those who say Sarrs need cold weather and/or short photoperiods during winter may be well intentioned, but are misinformed. Maybe some expert said it way back when, and since then itís been repeated so often that itís now ďcommon knowledge,Ē although based on erroneous assumptions rather than practical experience. After all, nobody is 100 percent right all the time

    Most Sarrs are native to the southeastern part of the United States, where winters are relatively mild. So itís not a big leap to survive in a subtropical climate. (The species that may have difficulty is S. purpurea because it is native to the northern U.S.) Youíre probably aware of other plants native to temperate climates that can grow outdoors all year in the subtropics. They may not grow as large, but they can grow and even thrive.

    Unfortunately, I believe that this misinformation about Sarrs needing cold and/or short photoperiods for dormancy has discouraged many people from even trying to grow them in the subtropics because they didnít want the extra bother. Too bad.
    actually,
    you are misinformed,
    sarrs needing dormancy is not a myth, it is very real.
    if you have only kept sarrs alive "for a couple years" without dormancy then you arent really qualified to say if they need it or not.
    try keeping them alive for 10 years without dormancy then get back to us!

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]From what I gather, VTSs have to be put in the refrigerator for dormancy in a subtropical climate. Otherwise they get weaker in successive years and eventually die. However, many Sarrs donít need it.
    yes, they do need it.


    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]They stop growing during the winter, but in the spring they start growing again.
    that IS dormancy!! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_l_32.gif[/img]
    you are giving your sarrs a winter dormancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Anyhow, those who say Sarrs need cold weather and/or short photoperiods during winter may be well intentioned, but are misinformed. Maybe some expert said it way back when, and since then itís been repeated so often that itís now ďcommon knowledge,Ē although based on erroneous assumptions rather than practical experience. After all, nobody is 100 percent right all the time
    wrong wrong wrong.
    the "need" for winter dormancy wasnt "made up" by a few "well-intentioned but misinformed" people.
    the need for dormancy comes from millions of years of evolution and the native climate of the plants.

    Try putting a Canadian maple tree in brazil and see how long it lasts.
    or a cactus in the amazon rainforest.
    or plant a sarracenia in the sands of the sahara desert.
    it wont work.
    its the sanme with dormancy..no one made this stuff up!
    its just nature..you cant change these rules and expect the plants to live.
    sarrs have specific requirements they need to live.
    pure water.
    high light.
    low-nutrient growing media.
    winter dormancy.

    why do they need all those things?
    because thats the emvironment they have been growin in for millions of years.
    no one is going to change that anytime soon.
    yes there is a somewhat wide range of conditions they can tolorate, but NO dormancy at all is definately outside that range.

    of course, we need to define what "dormancy" really means..
    yes, Sarrs "go dormant" in the wild in northern Florida and Georgia, where winters are very mild.
    but..they still slow down or stop growing, the temps get much cooler than in the summer, and the photoperiod gets much less..(naturally less light in winter)
    there is a HUGE difference between winter in Georgia and winter on the equator.
    yes, "winter in Georgia" isnt much of a winter compared to "winter in Canada", but its still winter, and its still cool enough and dark enough to put the plants into a true dormancy.
    you can probably sucessfully put sarrs into dormancy outdoors in the winter in florida.
    but you cant in Mexico, or Brazil, or anywhere closer to the equator that mid-florida.
    (has anyone ever wondered why sarrs dont grow wild into middle and southern florida? very boggy down there right?
    seems like an ideal climate for them right?
    well its not..
    they probably dont grow there because its too warm for them..they cant survive.)

    the real key for sarr dormancy is LESS light and LOWER temps in the winter than in the summer..
    (and letting the media go slightly drier is helpfull too.)
    if your native winters arent much different that summer, then thats not good enough.
    if you dont have native decidious trees that drop their leaves in the autumn, then its too warm for sarr dormancy outdoors.

    personally, I would want at least 50 degree winter days as the absolute warmest.
    (10-15 degrees Celcius)
    anythign warmer that that is TOO warm IMO.
    if your winters are generally warmer than 50F 10C, you should do something else for dormancy..the fridge or something else to keep them cool.



    SAcarnivore,
    here is how I do the fridge dormancy.
    I have the opposite problem from you, winters that are far too cold!

    http://home.**********.com/users....05.html

    Scot

  5. #5

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    I've done both methods - leaving them outside in winter in Florida and putting them in the fridge. Both work well, but they seem to flower better after the refriderator dormancy. Totally unscientific but I tend to get more flowers that way. Maybe the environment is more stable (not 40 one day and 85 the next).

  6. #6

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    Scottychaos is right when he says that when Sarrs stop growing in the subtropics they are going through dormancy. What I meant to convey (and I apologize if I didnít do so) was that extreme measures, such as refrigeration, need not be taken to induce dormancy. Yes, itís true that Iíve been growing Sarrs for only two years. However, others have been growing Sarrs in subtropical climates much longer without refrigeration. A couple of examples are Tristanís nursery in Hawaii and Tan Hong Yeeís nursery in Singapore. Iíve talked with the owner of Tristanís and emailed Tan Hong Yee, and both grow their Sarrs outdoors throughout the year. Incidentally, both have websites with a few Sarr photos.

    Scottychaos is also right when he says that certain plants will die if moved from their natural habitat to another one with very different conditions. However, if the change is not too drastic, a hardy plant may survive. For example, Magnolia grandiflora is native to the southeastern U.S. However, it will grow in the subtropics, although it looks more like a large bush rather than a tree. (Fortunately, the size of the flower does not suffer.) Iím no expert on whatís native to temperate climates, but certain maples and pines, as well as certain fruit trees like pear and cherry can also be grown in subtropical climates.

    Subtropical areas, being away from the equator, have winters that are cooler than summers, and thereís a definite difference in length of daylight and darkness between summer days and winter days. The question is whether those differences are enough to induce dormancy or not. Based on theoretical knowledge, some people do not believe that the differences are great enough and that dormancy has to be induced by refrigeration and/or shorter photoperiods. That is a judgment call. Actual experience says otherwise.

  7. #7
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    we have a house 30 minutes away from S. oreophila

    it gets VERY cold, i assure you.

  8. #8
    HellzDungeon's Avatar
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    Hay, Hellz here,
    my dad always told me not to go by "the books" all the time, but things like these are written in stone, its the natural the order of things we cannot change...
    o, and the stopped growth IMO is dormancy
    Hellz
    Nike SB is Bananas

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